Herder’s note­book records path out of poverty

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA -

CHENGDU — More than a decade ago, Lo­den, a herds­man in Ganzi Ti­betan au­tonomous pre­fec­ture, Sichuan prov­ince, sold all 50 of his yaks to pay for his sick wife’s med­i­cal treat­ment.

The sale left the fam­ily from Kahui vil­lage, set in the foothills of moun­tains in Li­tang county, pen­ni­less.

How­ever, things be­gan to turn around after their house­hold was iden­ti­fied as poverty-stricken in 2014.

Lo­den re­ceived a note­book from the lo­cal govern­ment to record his poverty-re­duc­tion goals and progress to­ward achiev­ing them.

The cadres in his vil­lage of­ten came to his home to en­cour­age him not to lose heart. They ex­plained poverty al­le­vi­a­tion poli­cies to him and taught him how to ap­ply for project funds.

Nibuzim, a doc­tor from the Peo­ple’s Hospi­tal of Li­tang county who like many Ti­betans goes by one name, also of­fered as­sis­tance to Lo­den’s fam­ily. He helped them get ac­cess to med­i­cal re­sources and vis­ited their home reg­u­larly to check on the health of Lo­den’s wife.

Mean­while, Kahui vil­lagers de­vel­oped a col­lec­tive econ­omy. In Oc­to­ber 2014, the vil­lagers set up a pas­ture through self-fi­nanc­ing and govern­ment sub­si­dies. Lo­den and his fel­low vil­lagers can now raise yaks and goats, grow grass or run hot-spring vil­las for tourists and re­ceive div­i­dends.

“Life can get bet­ter if you work hard,” he said.

Lo­den’s note­book has wit­nessed the life changes of his fam­ily over the years. It recorded the annual per capita in­come of the fam­ily of eight grad­u­ally climb­ing to 7,100 yuan ($1,005) last year from 3,000 yuan in 2015.

Such note­books can be found in ev­ery poverty-stricken house­hold in Lo­den’s vil­lage. They record the im­prove­ments in liv­ing stan­dards, health­care and ed­u­ca­tion.

Now, Lo­den’s fam­ily has more than 40 yaks and has been al­lot­ted 127 hectares of pas­ture. They have also bought a new mo­tor­cy­cle.

Kahui plans to fur­ther trans­form the pas­ture and hot-spring vil­las to ad­dress the long-stand­ing poverty of the vil­lage through cul­tural tourism, agri­cul­ture and an­i­mal hus­bandry.

Ear­lier this year, Lo­den’s grand­son in­jured his lit­tle fin­ger and was un­able to seek med­i­cal treat­ment due to the COVID-19 out­break.

After learn­ing this, Nibuzim, of­fered to help the fam­ily con­tact the hospi­tal and send the child for treat­ment.

“Al­though we have been lifted out of poverty, the peo­ple who assisted us still care about us so much,” Lo­den said.

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